• Jazz it up in Barcelona

    by  • October 16, 2013 • Barcelona, City Breaks, Festivals, Music

    For those of you lucky enough to be heading off on a short break to Barcelona over the next six weeks or so, you might find yourselves catching the mellow tones and hypnotic rhythms of one of the many jazz concerts taking place over the city during the annual Barcelona International Jazz Festival.

    Now in its 45th year, the Voll-Damm Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona (to give it its official title) brings together a wide and eclectic ensemble of live jazz music from some of Europe’s premier jazz artists, taking place in some 20 venues across the city from intimate bars such as the Harlem Jazz Club to the renowned and rather grand Palau de la Música Catalana. As you’d expect with a jazz festival of this stature, ticket prices and availability vary quite significantly according to venue and popularity of the artists, however you will find some free events such as Jazz a la Biblioteca and Jazz a l’SGAE to whet your musical appetite.



    Among the acts taking part this year, you’ve got India Martínez, Richard Bona, Tindersticks, Marinah y los Argonautas, John Grant and Jamie Cullum leading the charge for Barts, whilst the Luz de Gas welcomes (amongst others) the Ignasi Terraza Trio, Kroke and Luciana Souza. Meanwhile at the sumptuous Palau de la Música Catalana, the line-up includes Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuba Messengers, Duncan Dhu and ACS (Allen, Carrington and Spalding), whilst the Harlem Jazz Club features Leslie Helpert, Childo Tomás and Lu’s Quartet. We particularly like the sound of Cocktail and Swing every Friday evening from 7.30pm at the Gran Hotel Havana.

    The festival runs from Saturday, 19th October all the way through to Sunday, 1st December and gets underway with a free pre-festival warm-up this weekend, cunningly entitled Barcelona Jazz Weekend. If however you happen to be at the other end of the country, fear not! Malaga has its own Jazz Festival running from the 6th to the 10th of November, whilst Granada also plays host to one of Europe’s longest-running international jazz festivals, also taking place mid-November.


    With a French grandmother, childhood holidays on the continent and a degree in French and Spanish, a love of languages and travel has always been in my blood. Fresh from university with an unfettered enthusiasm to show off my linguistic ability and first-hand knowledge of the world beyond the UK, I entered the travel industry and, 16 years on, I’m still there! With several years spent in the luxury sector planning escorted holidays across Europe for the American market, followed by an even longer tenure designing short breaks with a difference in the must-see cities of Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid, Prague, Florence, Brussels, Venice, Salzburg, Milan, Krakow and Berlin (to name but a few), it’s fair to say that Europe is my passion! Today my travels have taken me far beyond the boundaries of Europe with so many destinations still to discover, yet the continent abounds in such a wealth of treasures – historical and architectural, cultural and musical, gastronomic, artistic and linguistic – that its appeal, for me, will be eternal.